So a while ago, I promised to share with you a tale of brunch and mermaids. Of course it is a dating story, and here it is:
My #1 rule of online dating is to meet the person as soon as possible. This keeps potential couples from falling into the classic "getting to know you over email" trap of thinking they know each other when they really have only gotten to know each other's email personalities.
So I was paired with this guy on eharmony.com (side note: I'm cancelling my subscription when it's up in a month not because the service is bad, but because they don't pair same-sex couples and have links to Focus on the Family and I can't stand the idea of any more of my money going to them.) (second side note: Yea! California!). We set up a date to meet up at MayFair in Harvard Square and walk around and have brunch.
So we meet up. Harvard Guy (he went there and has worked there for the past 12 years) and I met up in Harvard Square. MayFair hadn't really started yet and things were being set up. We decided to walk around Harvard Yard while we waited for the booths to be set up. However, on his way to meet me, HG had seen a painting he liked. He asked if I'd mind walking by the booth again to check it out, and I said that would be fine.
So we go to this booth. It has a lot of paintings. The paintings are all sizes - from 6"x6" to some as big as 2.5'x4.5'. He points to a painting that is 3'x3' and says, "That one. Isn't it incredible?"
I look to see a painting of a seascape. Only it's not really of a seascape. It's of a mermaid. Only it's not really of a mermaid. It's more of a mer-girl. And she is holding a starfish. A starfish with a smiley face. And there are more starfish with smiley faces sitting next to her.
"Wow!" I say, buying myself some time. "It's pretty incredible."
"Yeah," says HG, "I really like it. I'm just not sure where it could go in my house. I'm not sure it would match in my living room."
I'm wondering if I'm on Candid Camera, but I play along, while in my head thinking, "WHAT!? This painting is AWFUL. And even if it were a good painting, it would still be a good painting of a pre-pubescent mergirl with smiling starfish!"
We leave the booth to allow the wander around Harvard Yard, then go to brunch (where, at some point, he feels the need to give me one of his business cards), and then wander back through the fair, which is now going strong. We stop by the paintings booth again so he can ask how much said painting is ($350), and then he spends 10 minutes staring at the painting, trying to decide if he should buy it. We walk around the other booths, and he asks me again what I think about the painting.
At this point, I know there's not going to be a 2nd date, so I have nothing to lose. "Well, I love it - I really do," I say, "But you know how some of the other paintings are of mermaids? And this one is more of a mer-girl? I just think there's something a little pedophilic about having a pre-pubescent girl hanging on your wall."
"Yeah... I guess you're right... But I really like it!" he said.
The date ended soon thereafter.